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  • Army, Uber will partner on silent rotor technology for UAVs

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Army, Uber will partner on silent rotor technology for UAVs

    By: Charlsy Panzino The Army is partnering with Uber to create safer, more lethal unmanned aerial vehicle missions. The new effort between the Army Research Laboratory and the rideshare company, announced on Tuesday, aims to create silent rotor technology. The goal is to reduce the noise caused by traditional UAV rotors. “When UAVs are doing an [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] mission, they’re out there collecting or observing to collect intelligence or to do surveillance,” Jaret Riddick, director of ARL’s Vehicle Technology Directorate, told Army Times after the announcement. That mission is hampered, however, when the adversary can hear the UAV coming, Riddick said. “They know a certain noise in the distance means a certain type of operation is underway,” he said. “When you can do that with the advantage of not being detected … it changes how you execute a mission.” Uber Elevate, under which the air taxi side of the company falls, is interested in noise-reduction technology because its vehicles would be operating in dense urban areas. Since Uber is a technology company, ARL will build the UAVs for testing the technology. One kind of technology Uber is looking at to solve the noise problem is the idea of having stacked rotors on a vehicle that spin in the same direction. Traditionally, UAVs have stacked rotors that spin in opposite directions. “When those rotors are spinning in opposite directions, they create a type of turbulence that contributes to noise in the operation,” Riddick said. “By having them spin in the same direction and adjusting their position to one another, research has shown that using this technique can offer advantages in performance while reducing the noise compared with traditional operations.” One of these performance advantages is more lift capability, he said. Last year, Uber announced the Dallas-Forth Worth area as its first location for flight demonstrations in 2020, and Riddick said Uber will collaborate with ARL-South researchers in Austin. Uber and ARL-South will build the infrastructure needed for testing, Riddick said, adding that progress will be checked every six months. “Uber is proud to be partnering with ARL on critical research on flying vehicle innovations that will help create the world’s first urban aviation rideshare network,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said in a news release. “Our first jointly-funded project will help us develop first of its kind rotor technology that will allow for quieter and more efficient travel. We see this initial project as the first of many and look forward to continued collaboration with the lab on innovations that will make uberAIR a reality.”

  • What do Marines want in their next drone? Everything

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval

    What do Marines want in their next drone? Everything

    By: Mark Pomerleau The Marine Corps has revamped its requirements for a large unmanned aerial system after industry leaders said an early version of the drone could cost as much as $100 million. Now, Marine leaders are following a tiered approach to the requirements as a way to manage costs and work closely with industry. The Marines are charting ahead with the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Unmanned Expeditionary, or MUX, group 5 UAS. The Marines have long expressed a desire for an organic drone in the Group 5 category, the largest category of military drones. The initial desired capability set for the MUX was extremely broad, mirroring a Swiss Army knife of mission sets. When first presented to industry, leaders derided the expansive mission set as too costly. “They came back and said you’re talking about something that’s going to be $100 million, as big as a V-22. Are you sure that’s what you want?,” Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, commanding general of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration, told a small group of reporters following his appearance at the Modular Open Systems Summit in Washington May 1. “We said ‘No, that’s not what we want, not something that big. We want something to fly off a ship, off an expeditionary site. What that allowed us to do through the industry involvement then was to neck down, if you look at the [request for information] we sent out for the industry day, it tiered the requirements.” The initial RFI was released March 8. With the tiered requirements approach, Walsh explained that the Marines listed four capabilities they wanted most, while others could be nice to haves or even be handled by other assets. Tier 1 capabilities include airborne early warning – which Walsh said industry wasn’t heavily considering but is a capability the Marines absolutely need coming off a ship – command and control communications, digitally passing information, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and electronic warfare. Additional capabilities include potential weapons armament if the drone will escort V-22s and logistics. “Amazon, FedEx, somebody else will help us with that and we’ll probably buy what they’re developing,” Walsh said of the logistics portion. Similarly, Col. James Frey, the director of the Marine Corps’ Aviation Expeditionary Enablers branch, told USNI News that the Future Vertical Lift program might fill this void, adding that whatever is not covered by the program could be done with the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter. Ultimately, Walsh noted that bringing industry in early will help the service refine its requirements before setting them in stone, leading to a better capability. The industry day, slated for June 6 and 7, will “bring everybody together and help us with this and have like a workshop approach to that. Both primes and small subs,” he said. “I find this is a way that will allow us to go fast.”

  • Special Operators Predict AC-130J Will Be 'Most Requested' Aircraft

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Special Operators Predict AC-130J Will Be 'Most Requested' Aircraft 9 May 2018 By Oriana Pawlyk HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- "That's the sound America makes when she's angry." That's how Col. Tom Palenske, commander of the 1st Special Operations Wing, characterized the AC-130 gunship after two aircraft fired hundreds of rounds from their 40mm and 105mm cannons and 25mm Gatling gun in the skies above A-77, a range specially made for target practice. Palenske, also the installation commander here, says crews can't wait for the next best thing: the AC-130J Ghostrider. "It's going to be awesome. It's our big gun truck. It's going to have more powerful engines, a more efficient fuel rate, and also has a more precise fuel capability so you know exactly how much gas you've got on board," he said. Palenske caught up with during a tour of Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft and a live-fire training exercise on ranges used by Hurlburt and neighboring Eglin Air Force Base as part of Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson’s recent trip to AFSOC. "You can keep the sensors on the bad guys longer," Palenske said, referring to the J-model's ability to stay airborne longer due to better fuel management. Along with the 105mm cannon the U-models sport, the AC-130J will be equipped with a 30mm cannon "almost like a sniper rifle … it's that precise, it can pretty much hit first shot, first kill," he said. "It's also going to have AGM-176 [Griffin] missiles on the back, so you can put 10 missiles on the back of them. And two of the tubes are reloadable, so those missiles, they're sitting in the tube backward so the tail's pointing out, [and] they eject out of the airplane, right-side themselves and shoot like a forward-fired missile," Palenske said. The J-model will have the ability to launch 250-pound small-diameter bombs (SDB), GPS- or laser-guided, he added. The aircraft is expected to carry AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, interchangeable with the SDBs on its wing pylons. The model achieved initial operational capability in September. The fourth-generation J is slated to replace the AC-130H/U/W models, with delivery of the final J- model sometime in 2021, according to the Air Force. The service plans to buy 32 of the aircraft. Crews here expect the J to be deployed in late 2019 or early 2020 and are optimistic about its progress. In January, the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation said fire control systems associated with the plane's left-hand-side 30mm GAU-23/A cannon had issues, including being knocked out of alignment when fired and needing to be re-centered repeatedly by an operator. The AC-130W Stinger II and J-model are the only variants of the gunship to use the Orbital ATK-made cannon. "That was drastically exaggerated," Palenske said in response to the problems cited in the report. Officials said some of the issues were already being fixed by the time the report was made public. Now, "all of the gun actuating systems are electric as opposed to hydraulic. Hydraulic's sloppy," Palenske said, referring to the gun mounts that previously used hydraulics to aim the weapons. "And remember, we're just bringing this thing online. You can't expect to slap this thing together … and have that thing come out perfect," he said. "From soup to nuts, it's all run by computers and computer programs. But it's going to [be] the most lethal, with the most loiter time, probably the most requested weapons system from ground forces in the history of warfare. That's my prediction," Palenske said. There are two electro-optical/infrared sensor/laser designator pods on the gunship, a significant upgrade from the U-model. The U-model "has an older Raytheon ALQ-39 and a L3/Wescam MX-15," Lt. Col. Pete Hughes, an AFSOC spokesman, said in a follow-up email. The J-model has two L3/Wescam MX-20 electro-optical/infrared sensor/laser designator pods. "The upgraded sensors provide greater resolution at longer distances," he said. The new sensors can zoom in well enough to identify a shoe on the ground and will be able to share information with fifth-generation aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, officials said. In the future, AC-130 crews also hope to incorporate a high-energy laser aboard the gunship. Palenske said the laser will be the ultimate ace in the hole, making disabling other weapons systems easier. "If you're flying along and your mission is to disable an airplane or a car, like when we took down Noriega back in the day, now as opposed to sending a Navy SEAL team to go disable [aircraft] on the ground, you make a pass over that thing with an airborne laser, and burn a hole through its engine," he said. Palenske was referring to Operation Nifty Package to capture and remove Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega from power in 1989, during which a SEAL team "disable[d] his aircraft so he couldn't escape." With a laser, "it's just like that. And you just keep going on, and there's no noise, no fuss, nobody knows it happened. They don't know the thing's broken until they go and try to fire it up," he said. The transition to the J-model will happen simultaneously in the AC gunship community and the MC-130 Combat Talon special mission community, as older C-130 models are divested "in an elegant ballet" to make sure commandos and ground forces are covered, Palenske said. The Air Force is procuring more MC-130J models -- used for clandestine missions; low-level air refueling for helicopter and tiltrotor aircraft; and infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces -- but is still using H-models in deployed locations. Palenske said having a standard aircraft in not only the gunship community but also the MC community will be less of a strain on maintainers. "Imagine the efficiency in the parts supply [for] the maintainers. You can keep less people in harm's way because the people that are going to maintain the systems on [both of] those, they can do it," he said.

  • What to expect from AI, space and other tech over the next 18 months

    14 mai 2018 | International, C4ISR

    What to expect from AI, space and other tech over the next 18 months

    By: Aaron Mehta  What will the next 18 months mean for the Pentagon’s ongoing challenge to maintain a technological edge over its enemies? That was the question posed to a panel of experts at the 17th annual C4ISRNET conference Thursday. And the answers underline just how wide the technical areas of expertise are that Pentagon officials need to get their heads around in the modern era — and how the situation will remain fluid going forward. For Richard Linderman, deputy director for research and engineering in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, the focus is on manufacturing the vital microelectronics that provide the base for all of America’s high-end technologies. He predicts a push to create those chips at a higher rate domestically, which in turn would allow greater trust that the chips, forming the basis of communications equipment or artificial intelligence, would not be messed with by a foreign entity. Concern about the domestic production of microelectronics is expected to be part of a large defense industrial base review now underway. “If you’re right out on the pointy end of the spear, you might not want chips made in China to be the foundation of your communications gear,” Linderman told the audience. “So I think you’re going to see those kinds of investments increase dramatically, and it will be an exciting prospect for us to bring new dimensions to this discussion of trusted, assured microelectronics.” James Hasik, a professor at the National Defense University, said he would be keeping a close eye on how the autonomous Sea Hunter vehicle does during ongoing testing. DARPA recently transferred the Sea Hunter, designed to travel thousands of miles over open seas, for months at a time, without a crew member on board, over to the Navy for continued testing. “The economics of that concept are so compelling,” Lungu said. If the concept proves out, it could have “some profound applications for fleet structure, some profound applications for warfighting.” Clark Groves, a space expert also at NDU, predicted that the long-awaited boom in small satellites will finally reach critical mass in the near-future, driven by the desire to move the massive telecommunications market onto cheaper systems. DoD stands to benefit, as this would be happening at the same time the Pentagon seeks to move from relying on massive, expensive aggregated systems towards a disaggregated model relying on multiple cheap, smaller systems — which present more of a challenge for any enemy nation that may seek to take out American assets in space. “Once small satellites begin being produced in large numbers, that will fundamentally alter the industrial base of the status quo, and that will also affect the launch base,” Groves said, which in turn “will give opportunities to DoD for more effective per-cost basis to exploit the architecture that we need for resilience.” Finally, Ed Brindley, acting deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity at the Pentagon, pointed to a “more determined focus” inside the Pentagon to shift how it handles artificial intelligence. At the core of that, he said, is the upcoming AI Center of Excellence, which Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan predicted will be up and running in the next six months. “Part of what we will see will be opportunities for us to adopt some of what is occurring within industry today,” Brindley said, noting that AI isn’t just for warfighting but could have massive impacts on the internal processes of the Pentagon, including in the medical and legal professions.

  • Interview: Finland’s defense minister talks air defense, EU procurement regulations

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Interview: Finland’s defense minister talks air defense, EU procurement regulations

    By: Aaron Mehta WASHINGTON — Finland’s defense minister, Jussi Niinistö, visited the Pentagon May 8 to sign a letter pledging greater trilateral cooperation between his nation, the United States and Sweden. After the event, he talked with Defense News about his goals for the meeting, shared concerns about the European Union’s new defense initiative and Finland’s relationship with NATO. Finland just signed a new statement on trilateral defense cooperation with the U.S. and Sweden, but it’s fairly broad language. What do you see as the most concrete part of the agreement? Firstly, I have to say it is not a “trilateral agreement,” in a legally binding way. It is a statement of intent, and there is a big difference with that. I think the most important part of the statement of intent is the exercise part. We have had good exercise cooperation with the United States and Sweden lately. For instance, last year, Sweden arranged a multinational exercise called Aurora, [in] which both U.S. and Finland participated. For instance, right now in Finland there is an Army exercise called Arrow, there are U.S. Marines taking part in that. In the autumn, there will be a big exercise in Norway called Trident Juncture ― high-visibility exercise. Finland will be taking part with 1,500 or up to 2,000 soldiers, and also Sweden is taking part in that big exercise. Remember that in 2021, Finland will be arranging a similar kind of exercise like Sweden did with the Aurora exercise, so we will have over 20,000 soldiers in Finland, and the most important partners in that exercise are the Untied States and Sweden. But the 2021 exercise has been in the works for a while. So does this change that at all? Well, it is a cooperation done on a win-win basis. We go to exercise, for instance, to Sweden or the United States, Finnish Air Force is taking part at Red Flag exercise in October this year. This is the first time in Finnish Air Force history that we take part in this biggest exercise in the world. The United States comes to our exercise. So everybody hopes to benefit in this cooperation. Finland has been very supportive of the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence initiative, but the U.S. has been wary. Did that topic come up during your talks with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis? Yes, it was a topic. PESCO is a topic, I guess. Every time Secretary Mattis meets with a European counterpart, he will talk about PESCO. And I understand it. We talk with the same voice on this issue because, for instance, the United States defense industry is worried about this PESCO project, [if it will] lead to the fact that every country in the European Union has to buy defense products from the European Union. And Finland doesn’t want it to be like that. We have a strong opinion that we want to buy the best available defense material, wherever we want, because since 1992, when Finland decided to buy F-18 fighter planes, we have been practically married with United States defense technology, and we buy a lot of stuff, from Israel also. So for a country like Finland, which is militarily nonaligned and has territorial defense, [it] has to take care of defense on her own if needed. Of course we hope partners [will come to our aid], but alone if needed. It’s very important that PESCO is not excluding [non-EU industries]. Finland is in the early process of buying a new fighter. How do you balance between quantity and quality when looking at the new fighter? We have money for €7-10 billion (U.S. $8-12 billion), and we are going to buy 64 fighter planes. We have been always counting on quality: quality on planes and quality on training our pilots. Our pilots are the best in the world, let me say that, because they are trained so well. We have our own special program. We train them in Finland, and they get along very well in international [exercises]. I am thrilled to see what happens in the Red Flag exercise, what is the level of expertise of Finnish pilots now, because it has been very good during the recent years. Sweden is looking to buy Patriot, and some of the Baltics have limited networked air-defense capabilities. Would you want an interoperable system among all Baltic nations for air defense? No. No. We are not exploring that kind of possibility. But we have done cooperation when it comes to radar with Estonia. For instance we bought medium-range radars, we purchased 10 and Estonia two, so we bought them together. So we do that kind of cooperation. And it was a couple of years ago. Could you see that expanding to other nations or areas? We can buy together. For instance, we bought ― last year I was able to buy surplus material from South Korea, K9 Thunder self-propelled howitzers, 48 pieces. At the same time, we negotiated the same deal for Estonia, who is going to buy [the same]. So we do that kind of cooperation all the time, [but] Estonia is part of NATO, we are a militarily nonaligned country. We make materiel procurements together, but it doesn’t bind us. What do you want to see happen from the upcoming NATO summit? There are issues to be discussed inside NATO, for instance, the command structure. But of course we are looking forward to taking part in the Resolute Support mission, and the political dialogue all in all is important for us. We want to be part of that, and I know Sweden does too. Anything you will specifically be pushing for? Well, Finland is not going to push in a NATO summit. We just hope that we can take part in these summits in the future and have this important political dialogue together and to be partners in NATO, enhanced-opportunities partners. That is good for our defense capabilities. That, we want to continue.

  • La Luftwaffe ne posséderait que 4 chasseurs Eurofighter aptes au combat

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    La Luftwaffe ne posséderait que 4 chasseurs Eurofighter aptes au combat

    Suite à l’absence de munitions et à des problèmes techniques rendant les appareils «aveugles», seuls 4 des 128 chasseurs Eurofighter dotant l’armée de l’air allemande sont aptes au combat. L’écrasante majorité des 128 chasseurs Eurofighter équipant la Luftwaffe ne sont pas aptes au combat, relate l’hebdomadaire Der Spiegel, se référant à ses propres sources. D’après l’édition, la cause réside dans le problème que présentent des containers avec des capteurs spéciaux installés sur les ailes des appareils et appelés à déterminer l’approche des avions ennemis. Or, le système de refroidissement de ces dispositifs, précise Der Spiegel, présente de graves dysfonctionnements, ce qui rend les avions de combat «aveugles» et réduit l'efficacité de leur utilisation. Un autre problème cité par les interlocuteurs de l’hebdomadaire d’investigation résiderait dans le manque de munitions. Ainsi, selon les données fournies par l’édition, seuls quatre chasseurs Eurofighter sont actuellement aptes au combat suite au manque de missiles. Tentation dangereuse: le F-35 pour l'Allemagne, une menace potentielle pour l’Europe L’Eurofighter Typhoon est un chasseur polyvalent de la quatrième génération fabriqué par Eurofighter GmbH et exploité par l'Allemagne, l'Autriche, l'Arabie saoudite, l'Espagne, l'Italie et le Royaume-Uni. L’appareil en question est entré en service en 2003. Plus tôt, les médias allemands ont rapporté que les avions Tornado ne se conformaient pas aux normes de l'Otan. Il a été indiqué que les 93 appareils avaient besoin d’une lourde modernisation. En même temps, la ministre allemande de la Défense, Ursula von der Leyen, a déclaré que ces appareils seraient exploités jusqu'en 2035.

  • Dépenses militaires mondiales toujours en hausse, le Canada à un record historique

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Dépenses militaires mondiales toujours en hausse, le Canada à un record historique

    Selon les nouveaux chiffres du Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), le total des dépenses militaires mondiales a atteint 1 739 milliards $US en 2017, une augmentation de 1,1 % en termes réels par rapport à 2016. L’organisation explique dans son rapport que les dépenses militaires de la Chine ont de nouveau augmenté en 2017, poursuivant une tendance à la hausse des dépenses qui dure depuis plus de deux décennies. Les dépenses militaires de la Russie ont diminué pour la première fois depuis 1998, tandis que les dépenses des États-Unis sont restées constantes pour la deuxième année consécutive. En 2017, les dépenses militaires représentent 2,2 % du produit intérieur brut mondial (PIB) soit 230 $US par personne. «L’augmentation des dépenses militaires mondiales de ces dernières années est largement dues à la croissance substantielle des dépenses des pays d’Asie et Océanie et du Moyen-Orient, tels que la Chine, l’Inde et l’Arabie Saoudite», précise Dr Nan Tian, chercheur au programme Armes et Dépenses militaires (AMEX) du SIPRI. «Au niveau mondial, le poids des dépenses militaires s’éloigne clairement de la région Euro-Atlantique». Dans le détail Les dépenses militaires en Asie et Océanie ont augmenté pour la 29ème année consécutive. La Chine, deuxième plus grand dépensier au monde, a augmenté ses dépenses militaires de 5,6 % à 228 milliards $US en 2017. La part des dépenses chinoises dans les dépenses militaires mondiales est passée de 5,8 % en 2008 à 13 % en 2017. En revanche, les dépenses militaires en Afrique ont diminué de 0,5 % en 2017, soit la troisième baisse annuelle consécutive depuis le pic des dépenses enregistré en 2014. Avec 66,3 milliards $US, en 2017 les dépenses militaires de la Russie sont inférieures de 20 % à celles de 2016, première baisse annuelle depuis 1998. Poussées, en partie, par la perception d’une menace croissante de la part de la Russie, les dépenses militaires en Europe centrale et occidentale ont augmenté respectivement de 12 % et 1,7 %. De nombreux États européens sont membres de l’Organisation du Traité de l’Atlantique Nord (OTAN) et, dans ce cadre, ont convenu d’augmenter leurs dépenses militaires. Le Canada n’est pas en reste puisque pour la première fois le pays intègre le Top 15 mondial (14e place) avec plus de 27 milliards $ CAD dépensés en Défense, comparativement à environ 24 milliards $ CAD en 2016. C’est donc une hausse de 15% en une seule année ! Dans une déclaration envoyée à, le ministre de la Défense nationale Harjit Sajjan indique: «Nous respectons notre engagement d’accroître les dépenses de défense grâce à notre politique de défense nationale, Protection, Sécurité, Engagement. Tel qu’énoncé dans notre politique de défense, nous augmentons les dépenses annuelles de défense au cours des 10 prochaines années pour les porter à 32,7 milliards de dollars en 2026-27, soit une augmentation de plus de 70%. Je suis fier des investissements historiques que notre gouvernement réalise grâce à Protection, Sécurité, Engagement, et le Canada est fier d’être parmi les meilleurs pays qui investissent dans ses forces armées».

  • Budget de l'UE : Bruxelles propose une enveloppe conséquente pour la défense

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR

    Budget de l'UE : Bruxelles propose une enveloppe conséquente pour la défense

    La Commission européenne propose un budget de 20 milliards d'euros pour la défense entre 2021 et 2027, dont 7 milliards pour le Fonds européen de défense. SOURCE AFP Publié le 29/04/2018 à 10:07 | Le L'Union européenne de la défense se concrétise financièrement avec une dotation conséquente de près de 20 milliards d'euros dans le projet de budget préparé par la Commission européenne pour la période 2021-2027, selon des documents de travail vus par l'Agence France-Presse. Sans surprise, le Fonds européen de défense se taille la part du lion avec une dotation pour l'ensemble de la période de 7 milliards pour l'industrie de la défense et une autre de 3,5 milliards pour la recherche et le développement conjoints de technologies et d'équipements. Une seconde enveloppe de 6,5 milliards d'euros est consacrée à la mobilité militaire en Europe. L'espace n'est pas en reste avec un financement programmé de 13 milliards d'euros pour les systèmes de navigation par satellites Galileo et EGNOS. « Cela correspond exactement à ce qui est annoncé depuis le lancement du Fonds de défense avec une dotation de 1,5 milliard d'euros par an », a déclaré à l'Agence France-Presse l'eurodéputé français Arnaud Danjean, spécialiste des questions militaires. Le Fonds doit permettre de financer des projets montés en coopération, a souligné Arnaud Danjean. Lire aussi - Pourquoi l'Europe de la défense ne parvient pas à décoller La dotation pour la mobilité vise pour sa part à renforcer les capacités logistiques avec des infrastructures routières et ferroviaires utilisables pour déplacer des unités et des équipements militaires de l'Italie à la Pologne, de la France à l'Estonie. « Tout cela relève du symbole plus que d'une capacité crédible », a toutefois jugé sous couvert de l'anonymat un eurodéputé membre de la commission des Budgets. L'objectif de l'Union européenne est de se renforcer en tant qu'acteur mondial, mais également de se préparer à un éventuel désengagement des États-Unis. Des économies potentielles L'effort financier demandé est aussi justifié par les économies potentielles. « En procédant à des acquisitions communes, nous pouvons économiser près d'un tiers des dépenses actuellement consacrées à la Défense », soutient le président de la Commission européenne Jean-Claude Juncker. « L'UE compte actuellement 178 systèmes d'armes différents contre 30 seulement aux États-Unis », se plaît-il à rappeler. « Lorsque les chefs d'État et de gouvernement déclarent que l'Europe doit à l'avenir se mobiliser encore plus fortement pour protéger la population et assurer sa sécurité, ils doivent traduire leurs paroles en actes, répondre aux questions par des moyens financiers concrets », a estimé M. Juncker en février. Compétence des États membres, la Défense est un poste budgétaire nouveau dans le budget européen. Aucun euro n'avait été budgétisé pour la mobilité militaire sur l'exercice 2014-2020 et la dotation du Fonds européen de Défense était de 590 millions d'euros.

  • Lockheed gets $1.4B contract for F-35 sustainment

    14 mai 2018 | International, Aérospatial

    Lockheed gets $1.4B contract for F-35 sustainment

    By: Valerie Insinna WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin on Monday won a $1.4 billion contract to sustain the global F-35 enterprise for the U.S. military and international customers. According to Lockheed, the contract provides for “air system maintenance; pilot and maintainer training; depot activation; sustaining engineering; Automatic Logistics Information System (ALIS) support, data analytics and predictive health management; and supply chain logistics” for all U.S. and international F-35s through April 30, 2019. Of the $1.4 billion sum, about 73 percent will be paid by the U.S. Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, while the other 27 percent will be covered by international customers. The cost of sustaining the F-35 has been a growing concern for leaders across the Defense Department, from F-35 joint program executive officer Vice Adm. Mat Winter to Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. Bloomberg reported in March that the Air Force could be forced to cut as many as 590 F-35As from its 1,763 program of record should sustainment costs not improve. While Air Force leadership, including Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein, have said they have no plans to slash the program, reducing F-35 sustainment costs to that of fourth generation fighters like the F-16remains a big priority. Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin vice president of F-35 global sustainment, addressed the sustainment cost issue in a news release. “We are taking aggressive actions to improve F-35 aircraft availability and reduce sustainment costs. As the sustainment system matures and the size of the operational fleet grows, we are confident we will deliver more capability at less cost than legacy aircraft,” she stated. The company has already taken some steps to try to improve readiness and repair costs, including expanding the supply chain, buying spare parts ahead of need to boost availability and achieve economies of scale, and investing in diagnostic and data analytics technologies, it said. So far, more than 280 F-35s have been delivered and operate from 15 bases worldwide.

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